Ella rolled over and spied the rather large cup of coffee. As she looked at it from her position on the bed and then inched up closer on her belly, she realized it wasn’t a cup at all, but a soup bowl with a handle. She wondered for a moment if it would be considered Texas size?
“What a sweet, wonderful man,” she intoned aloud to the empty room.
Sitting up, she propped a pillow against the solid wood headboard and reached for the coffee. From her current angle, the bowl wasn’t much smaller than the tray it sat on. There were two shot glasses of creamer and a spoon as well. She couldn’t have been more touched, and sudden emotion clogged her throat and made her chest ache.
She blinked her eyes rapidly, swearing she had something in them before actually picking up the cup and one of the shot glasses. Emptying one, she swirled the cream through the coffee and tasted, screwing up her face at the still too-strong flavor and emptied the second shot glass of cream.
Yes, a giant cup required four full ounces of cream instead of just two. She took a sip and let the caffeine do its magic on her tired and not-quite-awake system. She became more aware of things quickly though, the silence in the house being the biggest thing. Where was he?
There was no sound coming from downstairs. It didn’t surprise her that nothing had awoken her, being as tired and worn out as she was from the trip, the sex, and the orgasms.
However, the silence was beginning to make her nervous. She didn’t know why exactly. She was used to being alone and it had never bothered her before, but for some reason, maybe because she was in a house that wasn’t her own, she didn’t have that same peace that solitude usually brought in its wake.
She slid her leg over to the side of the bed he’d slept on and it was cold as ice. He must have been up for a few hours and, looking around, she didn’t see a clock anywhere, but she did see her purse sitting in a ladder-back chair in the corner. Her suitcase sat against the loft railing. She’d bet her laptop bag was somewhere around too, and if she looked on the floor beside the bed… Yep, her bunny slippers sat there, waiting for her feet to slide right on in.
That thing was back in her eyes again, making her blink rapidly to get it out.
She lay in his bed, drinking the coffee he’d made for her, feeling the aches in her body and the light ache in her neck where he’d held her down. It felt like a bruise and she’d be curious to see if there was one, but she doubted it. He didn’t squeeze hard enough, but the slight tenderness when she touched where his thumb had been… She smiled.
God, she loved the way he pinned her down, held her. It was a possession of her.
They’d toyed with some light control play over the months. He’d tied her up, but so loosely she could get out with little more than a twist of her wrist. He’d spanked her a bit, enough for it to sting, not enough for it to mark. But the kiss before she’d left the room the last time to head home had been tender and rough by turns, possessive and freeing too. He’d pushed her up against the hotel room door and gripped her throat in his hand, pressing his body so hard into her that it had lifted her up on her toes.
She’d felt his hold on her all the way home that day and every day since. She had no idea what she was doing here with him now, what pipedream she might be living or buying into. Sure, they’d gotten along well and they had a sexual chemistry that defied anything in her previous experience, before and including her ex.
Those feelings, those desires, those pleasures were things her life had been missing since the day she’d gotten married and she hadn’t realized it. She hadn’t realized exactly what she was missing, what her mind and her gut had been trying to tell her before she walked down the aisle…
Justin had shown her, had opened her eyes. First through words and then through actions. She hadn’t ever imagined she could have a life with him, and she still didn’t know if it was possible. There were questions and obstacles and their ages and…. How much did all that baggage matter, she wondered as she caressed the pillow where he’d slept? He knew her shit, all of it. She knew his too, or at least most of it. And she knew if she brought up the age difference to him, he’d tan her hide until she couldn’t sit.
They’d never discussed the—she had to count it out on her fingers, the ones not holding the coffee—ten or eleven year gap between their birthdays. It hadn’t bothered her before and she couldn’t think of a reason for it to bother her now. Maybe she was just looking for more excuses for it not to work because that was easier than taking a chance on all the reasons it could work.
Besides, she smiled, she was in his bed, all the way in Dallas because he’d had enough of being without her.
And that he’d gone to Birmingham for her…. He’d been right though. She wouldn’t answer him with more than general statements. She wouldn’t talk to him about personal stuff anymore. She kept putting him off about how she was really feeling, what she was really thinking, and their friendship, their relationship was worth more than that. He’d always allowed her and encouraged her to talk about anything and she’d shut him out. The only choices he’d had were to either let her be or show up on her doorstep.
But she’d never thought he’d actually take the latter option. It wasn’t as if she’d said put up or shut up. No, she hadn’t said anything at all and in his mind, she was worth trying to salvage something.
No guy had ever come after her, ever chased her, ever thrown her over his shoulder like a caveman. No guy had ever brought her coffee in bed.
“Damn,” she whispered.
She flipped back the sheet and slid her feet into her slippers before setting the coffee down on the tray. She felt a little nervous walking across the loft naked, but that was the only way to get to the bathroom and then her suitcase.
Once some necessities were taken care of, she would get dressed. She hadn’t packed clothes for roaming around a ranch. If she’d thought about it at the time, she’d have thrown a pair of jeans and a T-shirt into her suitcase before leaving the apartment. As it was, she had a pair of brown slacks to go with a cream camisole and matching short-sleeve, light-weight sweater and a pair of black slacks and a pink, black, and white striped button-down-the-front blouse. She had work clothes and yoga clothes as well, but nothing meant for wandering around a Texas ranch. Not to mention, she’d only brought little sandals or heels.
She had no idea what to do, what to put on to go look for him, but standing there naked looking through her suitcase wasn’t helping. Making up her mind to don the brown pants and white sweater outfit, she quickly went back to the bathroom for a shower before getting dressed. She hadn’t brought shampoo or body wash because she used what was in the hotels and was lucky Justin had regular all-purpose shampoo and everyday soap so she wouldn’t go around smelling like a man. She wrapped her towel-dried hair up in a pony tail and brushed her teeth, debating on whether a little makeup was called for or not.
“Gonna have to get you some boots to wear around here. Can’t have you walking in those cutesy shoes and fuck-me-heels all the time.”
She yelped, and her hand flew to the flesh over her heart as she looked over at him. She hadn’t heard him coming, hadn’t heard… Her gaze immediately began to drink him in. Damn, he looked good all dirty and sweaty in faded jeans that looked about worn through in all the right places and a dark blue T-shirt with faded writing on the front. A tan cowboy hat was plastered to his head and his brown boots were scuffed with dirt and scrapes and well worn. He was every inch a cowboy. He was every inch her cowboy. The reality of that hit her square in the stomach. “What about bunny slippers?”
“Nah, we’ll save those. You like to wear those when we fuck.”
His outright crudeness should have probably shocked her, but it didn’t. “Yeah, okay. Plus, I don’t want to get them dirty.”
“No more than they already are after last night. Probably made the poor bunnies blush.”
“Eh.” She shrugged. “They’re bunnies. They’re used to such things.”
He grabbed her by the waist and hauled her against him.. “They better not have seen any action before us last night.”
The look in his eyes wasn’t a happy, teasing look. Jealousy? It never occurred to her that Justin would ever be jealous of her or that he would think she would have been with someone else all these months. She’d been asked out, but she’d always said noShould she date others? Should she play the field a bit? Maybe it wasn’t just Justin who could make her feel the things he did.
As she stood against him, with his arms holding her tight and imprisoned against his body… No, no one else would be able to do for her what he did, and she didn’t want to date a bunch of guys in search of something she already had.
“No. No one else has seen me naked with bunny slippers. No one else has had sex with me while I wore my bunny slippers. Only you.”
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One rope. Three days. And two hearts on the line.
Justin has had enough. Ella, the woman who healed his broken heart, has been cancelling on him for two months straight. Sure, she’s busy with her job, which has her traveling far and wide. But that never stopped her from sharing nights of trivia, long conversations and blazing hot sex—until now. Truth to tell, he misses their easy friendship, the way her sighs fill his ear as he fills her body.
What he can’t figure out is, what’s changed?
At work, Ella finds it easy to talk to rooms full of strangers. Once back at her lonely apartment, though, she’s back to her painfully shy self—until Justin. Their chance meeting grew over the months into a year-long affair, but she can’t shake the feeling that rejection and pain are just around the corner. Best thing to do? End it now, before their intimacy digs too deep.
Suddenly he’s at her door with a length of neon-green rope and a naughty proposition, daring her to say no. Just how good could it be? There’s only one way to find out…
Warning: The sheets are tangled, the hat is crumpled, and the jeans are worn low on the hips. The cowboy is hot, determined, and helpless in the face of bunny slippers. Readers may need extra batteries to get this one out of their system.
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Contemporary /Erotic Romance, Cowboys
Length: 200 pages
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